How to make your own sport drink


People who love sports have one thing in common: we love to push ourselves, stretching ourselves to our limits and putting in the extra effort. And when we do, it shows: We sweat.

Sweating is not only the body’s way of cooling itself, it also helps getting rid of toxins. During transpiration harmful substances are secreted through the skin’s pores. However, at the same time the body becomes dehydrated, losing water and electrolytes. Since both are necessary for optimal physical function, we need to make sure to replenish them.

Now, we all know the bottled multi-colored liquids ending in -ade that are advertised to do exactly that. But some of us aren’t big fans of artificial coloring, a high sugar content and expensive price. That’s why today we’ll learn how to make our own fresh, healthy and vegan sport drink on the cheap.

What should a sport drink contain?

The drinks should fulfill two functions: First, replace fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise. Second, help the body recover by providing simple carbohydrates to refill the glycogen tanks. Water takes care of the fluids and is the base for any sport drink. For the other parts you find options in the list below to mix and match at will. There are also some recipes at the end for inspiration.

One natural sport drink that deserves special mention is Coconut water. The liquid found in young coconuts contains both electrolytes and simple carbs. It has been used by the Brazilian soccer team for decades. If you can get your hands on it, you can use it as a substitute for part of the water in your personal mix. Coconut water is not to be confused with coconut milk which made from the flesh of mature coconuts.


  • sea salt

  • lemons/limes (citrus fruits in general are a great source of electrolytes)

  • sea vegetables (Brendan Brazier especially recommends dulse)


  • unsweetened fruit juice (use fresh, not pasteurized if possible)

  • berries

  • agave nectar

  • maple syrup

  • dates

  • honey (non-vegan option)


All recipes are prepared the same way: combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Cool in the fridge, enjoy. All of these can be made ahead of time.

The minimalist warrior

  • 500ml water (my friends from Myanmar, Liberia and the US, deal with the metric system)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 dates
  • a pinch of sea salt

The blenderless warrior

  • 4 parts water
  • 1 part red grape juice
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt to taste

Ginger Ale with extra electrolytes (from Brendan Brazier’s book – Thrive)

  • 250ml water
  • 250ml coconut water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • ½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • sea salt to taste

What’s your favorite sport drink? Have you got recipes of your own? Tell us in the comments below.

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